Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the Government of the Northwest Territories and its Single Window Service Center model has been recognized for its innovative management by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada or known as IPAC.
The Government of the Northwest Territories was one of 10 national finalists for the IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award for 2014 in the Federal/Provincial/Territorial category. This prestigious Award recognizes organizations and their leaders that have demonstrated outstanding leadership by taking bold steps to improve Canada through advancements in public policy and management.
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to inform this House that the Single Window Service Center model was awarded the bronze medal. This is the fourth IPAC Award the Government of the Northwest Territories has received. Previous recipients include the Government of the Northwest Territories Executive Council, Department of Transportation and the South Slave Divisional Board of Education.
On Thursday evening, Celine Proctor, our Government Service Officer from Fort Good Hope, representing all of our Government Services Officers, along with George Morin, Manager of the Single Window Service Centre program, Dan O’Neill, Regional Director, Penny Ballantyne, Deputy Minister for the Department of Executive and Betty Arden, Administrative Assistant, represented the Government of the Northwest Territories at the Gala Awards Dinner, at IPAC’s 10th Annual Leadership Conference in Toronto.
Mr. O’Neill and his staff in the regional office, in collaboration with Regional Director Peter Clarkson, have championed this program and have worked diligently to ensure its success. During the Gala, a short video was presented showcasing the uniqueness of the Northwest Territories, and how this service delivery model is helping residents in small communities gain access to much needed government programs and services.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased with this program, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff in the Department of Executive, and the community Government Services Officers, who have worked hard to improve resident access to our programs and services and provide outreach to all our citizens, particularly our Elders in our most remote communities.
As I mentioned earlier, in the audience Thursday night was one of our Government Service Officers, Celine Procter, who started with the program when it was first launched in 2010. Celine is from Fort Good Hope, she speaks the language of her community and has helped countless residents. This includes Elders, sitting at their kitchen tables, helping them to navigate their way through the sometimes complex Federal and Northwest Territories program and services.
As Members know, the Single Window Service Centres are located in 18 offices across the Northwest Territories, soon to be 20, with new offices being established in Trout Lake and Wekweètì. This model has been a resounding success and has reached out to residents in our more remote communities. To date, over 19,000 resident inquiries have been assisted through these offices.
Mr. Speaker, supporting all communities and regions is a priority for our government. We have funded from within these additional Government Service Officer positions, which supports this Assembly’s priority of providing employment opportunities in small communities. The Single Window Service Centres and Government Service Officers program proves that we can provide more efficient services by creating positions in smaller communities to help residents connect with the programs and services they need. I want to thank Members for their continued support for this initiative. It is truly making a difference and has now a nationally recognized model that is the envy of other jurisdictions.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.